NSC Stars Continue Climb Up Standings With Win Over Tampa Bay Rowdies
The NSC Stars defeated the Tampa Bay Rowdies 1-0 with an own goal last night in Blaine, Minnesota in front of 1,803 fans.
The Stars continue their good run of form with positive possession and high percentage passing. However, like last week’s loss against Crystal Palace Baltimore, the play on the field did not equate to goals on the scoreboard. While the defense did hold the game close, the offense had poor finishing again. The NSC offense created 7 shots on goal forcing Tampa keeper Daryl Sattler to make 3 saves. The Rowdies could only muster 3 shots all evening and only one in the second half.
Stars goalkeeper Joe Warren was only called on to make one save but it was an important one in the 3rd minute of the game. Tampa Bay’s Long Tan shot from 18 yards out. Warren dove to his left to save the shot from an early Rowdies lead.
The 10 to 4 corner kick advantage for Minnesota was perhaps a bigger example of Minnesota’s positive play. But the team had some golden opportunities to score that they didn’t take advantage of.
The team’s only goal was an own goal and it came in the 28th minute of the first half when left fullback Scott Lorenz hit a driven cross into the box which took a deflection off Rowdies defender Rob Valentino. The ball went high over Sattler’s head and dropped under the bar and into the far post netting.
“That’s your job as an outside back,” said the 22-year-old Lorenz. “You create plays for other people and you give them a chance in the box. You practice that all the time and hope it works in the game.”
“Scott [Lorenz] was really busy all night,” said Stars head coach Manny Lagos. “He was making hard driving runs, creating space and causing Tampa Bay problems. When you do that good things happen. I don’t think the goal was a fluke. I think it happened because we had the momentum in the game and we kept attacking. They were on their heels and sometimes you need a little luck. We probably should have had 3 goals in the first ten minutes after some amazing chances but then one goes in that’s a little lucky.”
Lorenz, a Barrington, Illinois native, says he played for UW Madison and graduated last winter. He explains that he learned a lot in Madison playing for the Badgers but wasn’t sure if soccer was in his future after school.
“I was looking for a place to play and looking for tryouts when I finished school. I was fortunate in that Minnesota asked me to try out. I got invited back for preseason and eventually got on the roster.”
“I was following him for a while,” says Lagos concerning Lorenz. “I followed him at Madison and this wasn’t something where we just invited him in for a trial. I knew he’s played several different positions on the field.”
“I played every position there except goalkeeper,” explained Lorenz. “I redshirted my freshman year, spent my sophomore year playing left back. Junior year was spent at left midfield and senior year was at forward.”
Lorenz says he believes playing all of those positions has made him stronger. “Playing all those positions gives you a good vantage point to know what the other players on your team are thinking at that moment — where the run is going to go and where they want the ball. Melvin (Tarley) and Warren (Ukah) like the ball played into their feet. It’s a pretty simple task once it’s laid out for you. Manny does a nice job of what our formation looks like and all we have to do is execute.”
Lorenz has seen considerable play time since his first start in a 4-2 win in June for a US Open Cup game against the KC Athletics of the USASA. He has played in 6 games and accumulated 343 minutes. The young Stars defender admits that it took him a bit of time to get up to the speed of division 2 pro soccer.
“The first game things came at me a little fast,” said Lorenz. “I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I needed to get my bearings set but once that happened I got great support. I think my teammates around me have done a great job of integrating me into their system.”
“He’s a rookie, so he’s still learning,” said Lagos. “But I think he’s coming along very well. He’s got a good left foot. He’s got good energy and a good attitude.”